PC, otherwise known in the Valley of California as Patrick Coleman, is still a young guy by my standards, but he's been around. Around in this case is mainly the Valley (home base is Modesto). He describes his musical background in the interview below, but let's say he's been everywhere musically. But with Jaded Starlings In a Gilded Cage he and his band come home to their roots in the Valley, which to anyone familiar with names such as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Chris Hillman, and Lefty Frizzell (who moved to Bakersfield in the 70s to escape Nashville) is familiar territory as one of the seminal regions in the progression of true country music (with apologies to Blake Shelton).
The Valley is somewhat isolated, and such regions often form distinctive sounds. Patrick Coleman has been exposed to all forms of music, but the Valley sound can be unique, such as what Buck Owens created. So too the sounds of Patrick's new band, the Angels of Death, and the new CD.
Dwight Yoakum is not from the Valley, although as a disciple of Buck Owens you wouldn't know it (who is actually from California?). In a recent interview (Drew Millard, Noisy, http://bit.ly/YvmURu), Dwight talks about the same type of music that informs PC & the Angels of Death:
I had been a fan of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, but I also had been a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival, which was that kind of Bay Area country-rock. “Swamp Rock,” as it’s referred to. And Beck and I even chased that a bit, in terms of the groove of “A Heart Like Mine.” I told him, I said, “Everybody always does kind of the Swamp groove variation of what John Fogerty did, but nobody ever really attacked the country parts of “Bad Moon Rising.” I said, “That’s what that song, to me, needs.” And so he had his assistant engineer, as I said, play drums on it, and we end up with this kind of great, Stones-colliding-with-Johnny-Cash…Continue
Posted on January 26, 2013 at 1:30pm — 12 Comments
I once boldly stated without checking that Gram Parsons had more books written about him than anyone else who died by age 26. Someone did their homework and corrected me: King Tut and Anne Frank evidently have had more (perhaps others). By pointing to such notables from history, I think this critic made my case.
So, why another book about Gram Parsons? If you throw in the Gandolf Hennig movie, one wonders what more one could know about this gentle though brightly shining comet that seemed to come out of nowhere and burn out far too quickly for most to see on the horizon.
Turns out a journalist from Florida now gives us the reasons why. Seems there actually were parts of Gram's life that had not been thoroughly explored and people who were close to Gram that had not said much before, possibly because no one thought them important enough to talk to. Bob Kealing sensed their stories untold, and they opened up to him.
It took a journalist with Bob Kealing's cred and easy manner to uncover these friends, relatives, and band mates and their informative tales. How? Like any good journalist does: by going after the story. By finding those folks, and squeezing all he could from them without them even knowing he had done so. By taking the pieces, putting them together, and going where the story took him -- with no preconceptions based on previous works or even on a complete knowledge of Parsons' catalog. And perhaps most importantly by nature of being a journalist who shared a homeland that Parsons loved and that informed his art; where others covered Gram's early years in the South mainly from the viewpoint of his tragic family background and left it there, Kealing found there was much more to discover and share with us.
This review is not going to do the obvious:…Continue
Posted on November 26, 2012 at 8:30pm — 10 Comments
In these days of Linda Chorneys and Lana Del Rays, it's getting increasingly difficult to deal with the criteria used to nominate someone, and in which category even, whether for halls of fame or for the likes of the Grammy Awards. There are clearly ways to "play the system" if indeed there still exists a system to be played. You have to know your way around the Casino.
And when it comes to "lifetime achievement awards," which would also include induction into halls of fame, the definition of "lifetime," which had become "15 minutes of fame," seems now to be reduced to about a nanosecond.
Add the landscape-altering shifts in "categories" and their qualifying criteria, such as airplay ("spins" adding terrestrial and satellite), and unit sales (now including 0's and 1's, electrons either embedded in plastic discs or just free flowing), streaming, pirating, etc., and you are left with a real tossed salad, especially when dealing with artists whose careers have spanned these relatively recent revolutions, or even those who lived when music had only two vehicles -- live or vinyl.
Trends in measuring popularity, success, artistic accomplishment, and any other yardsticks involved in nominating an artist for any such "lifetime" accolades become increasingly complex when dealing with those whose careers either spanned these changes that have rocked the business, or who lived their lives entirely in a statistically simpler, more easily quantifiable time.
As an example, let's examine an artist on Rolling Stone's List of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, who has been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, has been the subject of a slew of biographies in both books and film, and who is the subject of a global petition to induct him into the Country Music Hall of Fame with over 6,700 signers so far. He is arguably eligible for a lifetime achievement award or hall of fame induction, even though that lifetime lasted just…Continue
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 9:30am
From Part 1:
"The first time I saw Gram Parsons was shortly after I first heard of him. I was a major Byrds fan and in a band that covered everything they ever did. There was no internet back then so news traveled slow. But word finally reached us that the Byrds had re-grouped to include founding members McGuinn and Hillman, Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelly on drums, and some guy named Gram Parsons who had played in the Int'l. Submarine Band...."
From Part 2:
...We arrived at the hotel, found out the room(yes they gave out info in those days), and got in the elevator. As fate would have, Chris and Gram came strolling into the elevator just before the doors closed. How awkward. But before things could get weird, Chris sized us up and said, "Do you boys play poker?". I said, "...
From Part 3:
"The final time I saw Gram Parsons was in June of 1970. The Burrito Bros. had just gone through some personnel changes and Burrito Deluxe was just released. Chris Etheridge had left the band forcing Chris Hillman to move back to bass. They recruited old friend Bernie Leadon to play lead guitar. Bernie of course had something much bigger coming down the road but there was no idea of that at this point in time. Bernie could also sing and write. At this point my only knowledge of him was as a co-author of "Train Leaves Here This Morning", with Gene Clark, and as a member of the Dillard and Clark Expedition...."
For the rest of all three accounts of Toke's meetings with Gram Parsons, join No Depression's Gram Parsons InterNational group: http://www.nodepression.com/group/gramparsonsprojectBB
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 2:00pm